If you're like most busy homeowners, the last thing you want to do is remember to turn your landscape lights on every night and off every morning. Lucky, you can easily control your outdoor lighting through the use of timers or other controls.
Whether you're trying to decide which option will work best for your needs or want to replace the one you have, keep reading to learn about some of the more popular options for controlling your landscape lighting system.
An analog timer can be manually set come on and off at designated times. It's fairly basic and easy to use. You turn the dial and set the pins to the times you want your lights to come on and turn off.
A photocell uses light to regulate an outdoor lighting system. It turns your lights on as it senses the sunlight diminishing and off as it senses sunlight in the morning.
While the photocell is a great option, it can't be set for different times. Let's say you want your lights to turn off at a designated time before sunrise then you'll need a timer to override the photocell. In addition, you'll want to consider the transformer location. It will need to be in a place that allows the photocell to easily sense the light, avoiding inside or shaded areas.
At McKay Lighting, we often use a photocell in combination with a timer to give the homeowner more control over their system and transformer location.
Unlike the first two options, an astronomic landscape lighting timer uses your location (via GPS coordinates) to determine dusk and dawn times. It automatically adjusts for Daylight Saving Time and can be set for different times. For lighting systems with several transformers, this is a great option to keep all of the lights synchronized as the season's change.
Smart Home Automation:
If you have a smart home automation system or are considering one, there's a chance it will work seamlessly with your landscape lighting system. Most smart home systems allow you to easily control your lights from a smartphone or tablet. Some even offer the ability to create different lighting zones (security, entertainment, etc), change colors, or allow dimming.
It's best to talk with a landscape lighting designer about connecting your exterior lighting to a smart home automation system or for help selecting a control system. They'll be able to offer their professional advice based on their experience which could help you save time and energy.
Now that fall is here, the days are getting shorter as Daylight Saving Time ends soon. If you need to reset your timer, see our video with step-by-step instructions or make an online service request to have one of our technicians do it for you.
Looking to Enhance Your Property?
Our dedicated team at McKay Landscape Lighting works with you to create a custom landscape lighting design that's unique to your property. From design to installation to service, you can count on our team of experts to make sure you are happy with your lighting system for years to come.